Advance Search

Up

Stop the hangings

hgs01. Dockers Leader Condemned to Die

Trade union and ANC activist Vuyisile Mini and his comrades Wilson Khayinga and Zinakile Mkhaba were sentenced to death for their alleged complicity in the killing of an informer. Mini was a gifted singer and writer of freedom songs. In spite of an international campaign and an appeal by the UN Security Council, the three men were hanged on 6 November 1964.

 
pri17. SATIS founding conference, 1973

Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) was a coalition that worked for the release of political prisoners in Southern Africa. Two hundred people attended its founding conference on 8 December 1973. They set up a campaign that brought together the AAM, IDAF, National Union of Students and the Ruskin and AUEW (TASS) Kitson Committees. For the next 20 years SATIS worked on behalf of political prisoners and for the release of all those detained without trial. In the 1980s it led campaigns to save the lives of political activists sentenced to death by the apartheid government.

 
pri18. SATIS founding conference, 1973

Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) was a coalition that worked for the release of political prisoners in Southern Africa. Two hundred people attended its founding conference on 8 December 1973. The conference focused on South Africa, but for the next 20 years it campaigned on behalf of prisoners in all the white-dominated countries of Southern Africa. In the 1980s it led campaigns to save the lives of political activists sentenced to death by the apartheid government.

 
po028. Save SWAPO Leaders

SWAPO leaders Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo were sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act on 12 May 1976. With the Namibia Support Committee, SATIS promoted an international campaign for their release. It distributed thousands of postcards calling on the British government to intervene and held a demonstration outside South Africa House. The two men were released on appeal in 1977.

 
pic7604. ‘Save SWAPO Leaders’

SWAPO leaders Aaron Mushimba and Hendrik Shikongo were sentenced to death under the Terrorism Act on 12 May 1976. The Namibia Support Committee and Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society (SATIS) promoted an international campaign for their release. It distributed thousands of postcards calling on the British government to intervene and held a demonstration outside South Africa House. The SWAPO leaders were released on appeal in 1977. Left to right: Liberal MP Richard Wainwright, Botswana High Commissioner B M Setshango, TGWU General Secretary Jack Jones, SWAPO representative Peter Katjavivi, Labour Party General Secretary Ron Hayward, Amnesty International Director David Simpson and AAM Chair John Ennals.

 
pic7803. Fast for Solomon Mahlangu

Forty former South African political prisoners held a 24-hour fast in support of Solomon Mahlangu on the steps of St Martin’s in the Fields, Trafalgar Square in August 1978. They collected signatures to a petition asking Prime Minister James Callaghan to intervene with the South African government. Mahlangu was sentenced to death on 2 March 1978 for being present at an incident in Johannesburg during which two white bystanders were killed.

 
pic7802. Trade union picket for Solomon Mahlangu

Solomon Mahlangu was sentenced to death on 2 March 1978 after being present at an incident in Johannesburg during which two white bystanders were killed. The AAM organised weekly demonstrations outside South Africa House calling for his release. Thousands signed a petition asking the British government to intervene. This picket was held on 2 August 1978. In the photograph are Bob Wright, Assistant General Secretary of AUEW (Engineering), Jim Slater, General Secretary of the National Union of Seamen (NUS) and members of the NUS Executive.

 
hgs02. ‘Stop the Execution of Solomon Mahlangu

Solomon Mahlangu was a young ANC freedom fighter sentenced to death in March 1978 for his involvement in a gun battle with police in which two men died. The judge accepted that he had not fired the fatal shots. Thousands of this postcard were distributed in Britain and as a result of the campaign the British Foreign Secretary David Owen intervened with the South African government. Despite worldwide demands for clemency, Mahlangu was hanged on 6 April 1979.

 
7902. Vigil for Solomon Mahlangu, 1979

Hundreds of people kept an all-night vigil at South Africa House in London before the execution of Solomon Mahlangu on 6 April 1979. In Scotland AAM supporters picketed the South African consulate in Glasgow. Solomon Mahlangu was hanged in spite of a huge international campaign. The UN Security Council and the governments of the UK and all the other major Western European countries appealed to the South African government for clemency. US President Jimmy Carter also intervened.

 
po049. Stop the Execution of Solomon Mahlangu

Solomon Mahlangu was a young ANC freedom fighter sentenced to death in March 1978 for his involvement in a gun battle with police in which two men died. The judge accepted that he had not fired the fatal shots. Together with the ANC, the AAM campaigned in Britain against the sentence. As a result, the British Foreign Secretary David Owen intervened with the South African government. Despite worldwide demands for clemency, Mahlangu was hanged on 6 April 1979.

 
vid009. Mike Terry

Mike Terry remembers the international campaign to stop the execution of Solomon Mahlangu and the trauma of Mahlangu’s hanging in 1979.

This is a clip from an interview for the film series ‘Have You Heard from Johannesburg?’, covering the 50-year history of the global anti-apartheid movement. The series is a Clarity Films production, produced and directed by Connie Field. See http://www.clarityfilms.org/haveyouheardfromjohannesburg

 
hgs03. Save Marcus Kateka!

Marcus Kateka was a 40-year old Namibian farmworker sentenced to death for allegedly helping SWAPO guerrillas. Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society distributed ten thousand copies of this postcard asking Prime Minister Thatcher to intervene with the South African government. Supporters also picketed South Africa House on 27 October 1980. As a result of the international campaign, in July 1981 the sentence was commuted to 17 years imprisonment.

 
hgs04. Save the Pretoria 3!

In November 1980 three young freedom fighters, Petrus Lubisi, Ncimbithi Mashigo and Naphtali Manana, were sentenced to death for attacking a South African police station. In Britain, Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society organised pickets, marches and media publicity to save their lives. After a South African appeal court confirmed the sentence in April 1982 the UN Security Council held an emergency meeting. On 3 June 1982 the British Foreign Office met a SATIS delegation. On the same day, as a result of the campaign, the sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.

 
pic8106. ‘Stop the Death Sentences’

Three young ANC members, Johannes Shabangu, Anthony Tsotsobe and David Moise, were sentenced to death in Pretoria on 19 August 1981. They were charged with taking part in attack on the SASOL oil-from-coal power station and a Johannesburg police station. All three were school students who left South Africa to join Umkhonto we Sizwe after the Soweto uprising in 1976. After an international campaign the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on 7 June 1983.

 
pri24. SATIS-ACTION

SATIS-ACTION was a scheme that alerted subscribers to new political trials and death sentences in South Africa and Namibia. Supporters were asked to send letters and telegrams to the South African government and to ask the British government to intervene.

 
hgs06. No Apartheid Executions!

These three young men were among the hundreds who left South Africa after the 1976 Soweto student uprising and returned secretly after military training. They were intercepted by the South African Security Forces and sentenced to death in August 1981. This leaflet advertised a 12-hour vigil outside the South African Embassy as part of a long-running international campaign to save their lives. As a result of the campaign the sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.

 
hgs07. Save the Moroka Three

These three young men were among the hundreds who left South Africa after the 1976 Soweto student uprising and returned secretly after military training. They were intercepted by the South African Security Forces and sentenced to death. This pamphlet shows how the case against them relied on confessions made under torture. In spite of an international campaign for their release, the three were executed on 9 June 1983.

 
hgs08. Save the ANC Six

These six young men were among the hundreds who left South Africa after the 1976 Soweto student uprising and returned secretly after military training. They were intercepted by the South African Security Forces and sentenced to death. Partly as the result of international protests, Anthony Tsotsobe, Johannes Shabangu and David Moise had their sentenced commuted. Marcus Motaung, Jerry Mosololi and Simon Mogoerane, known as the Moroka Three, were executed on 9 June 1983.

 
hgs05. ‘Save Their Lives!’

These three young men were among the hundreds who left South Africa after the 1976 Soweto student uprising and returned secretly after military training. They were intercepted by the South African Security Forces and sentenced to death. Partly as the result of international protests, their sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.

 
pic8308. Wreaths for the Moroka Three

The Moroka Three, Jerry Mosololi, Marcus Motaung and Thelle Mogoerane,  were young ANC members convicted of belonging to the ANC’s armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe. They were sentenced to death and hanged on 9 June 1983 in spite of a huge international campaign for clemency. Supporters of SATIS (Southern Africa the Imprisoned Society) held an all night vigil outside the South African embassy on the night before their execution. The picture shows a South African Embassy official removing wreaths attached to the embassy gate in memory of the three men.

 
 
 
Powered by Phoca Download